While traditionally quite strong, the South African economy has experienced some turbulent moments in recent times.
In fact, GDP shrank by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 (1). While this might represent a small stumbling block along the way, the fact of the matter is that businesses are now aiming at an international audience in order to enjoy greater success in the coming years.
This is when the power of a targeted e-commerce platform comes into play. What are some of the characteristics associated with a worthwhile provider and are there any firms which have risen head and shoulders above the rest?
Online business portals: redefining the traditional South African economy
The Internet is growing at a breakneck pace and this certainly shows no signs of slowing down. South African firms have taken note of this momentum, as a growing number are now looking to leverage the opportunities to be found within the digital domain.
However, providing quality products and services to an ever-increasing audience can prove to be difficult without a bespoke and efficient cloud-based e-commerce platform. What are the primary hallmarks of a worthwhile service? Above all, the package should promote a user-friendly nature that is suited for those who might not have a great deal of expertise. This is only the beginning in terms of clarity and efficiency. A handful of other metrics to examine include:
- The ability to make on-the-fly adjustments when necessary.
- An excellent year-on-year growth average.
- The acceptance of multiple online payment methods.
- The easy integration of third-party systems.
- A host of customer-oriented applications to choose from.
Two major contenders within the realm of e-commerce are Shopify Plus and BigCommerce. What are the differences between these two cloud-based solutions and why is Shopify proving to represent the best choice for many South African businesses?
The Proof is in the details
Big Commerce Enterprise vs Shopify Plus could prove to be somewhat of a contentious topic, as each of these systems boasts several interesting qualities. Some of the main advantages associated with Big Commerce include no transactions fee and an all-in-one e-commerce platform. However, these can often mask some more notable drawbacks. Many SMEs will find the interface difficult to work with.
Furthermore, their pricing plans can be slightly confusing. Another issue involves the fact that BigCommerce requires a significant amount of processing power; particularly when under heavy loads. This could impede the performance of other operating systems.
On the contrary, Shopify provides clear and straightforward pricing solutions and it is currently the most user-friendly platform on the market. When these features are combined with other amenities such as front-end customisation and open API solutions, it becomes clear why South African businesses of all sizes are choosing the cloud-based tools offered by Shopify Plus.
As local enterprises continue to expand, they will require bespoke solutions that are moulded around their discreet needs as opposed to more generic alternatives. In such an event, Shopify Plus aims to please.